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Posts Tagged ‘Pucallpa’

The Gilmer, a cargo ship, carries passengers and cargo up the Amazon River to villages and towns upstream that cannot be accessed by road. We spent five (crowded) nights on hammocks on the boat deck with 250 other travelers.

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The Gilmer at port.

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Mass hammock = not so much space.

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Villages along the river.

The trip itself was really cool; we stopped at different towns along the water to pick up/drop off passengers and supplies. Among the cargo on our ship were the following things:

  • Two monkeys
  • Three pigs
  • Five dogs
  • Enough chickens to feed 250 people a day for five days
  • Countless birds
  • A few cats
  • A million spiders
  • Two million children
  • Five million bananas

One of the monkeys was the cutest. Even when it tried to steal Ryan’s stuff out of his backpack. This also spurred the previously mentioned desire to buy a pet monkey.

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Other highlights: Ryan and I were followed around by a kid the entire trip, who enjoyed pinching us when we weren’t looking. And I was the victim of a water balloon ambush by a group of Peruvian children for two days straight. They liked to drench me with water balloons and yell ‘gringo!’.

Overall: The Amazon is awesome. And really pretty. Especially the sunsets…

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After our canyon hike, we headed back to Lima. We said adios to Parsonian, we headed over the Andes on a looong bus ride (30 hours) to Pucallpa in the north of Peru. Pucallpa doesn’t have much to offer but a gateway for people (and cargo) to travel up the Amazon. From Pucallpa, you can get all the way to the Atlantic Ocean via the Amazon River through Peru and Brazil.

IMG_2483 The Andes through the bus window.

Since Pucallpa is so far off the beaten path, cars are a novelty and most people travel by mototaxi. And there are a million of them. In fact, thats all there is. And one grocery store that closes at sunset.

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The soonest boat we could catch left four days after we arrived in Pucallpa… and we decided to head to a town about ten kilometers away on an oxbow lake, with lots of floating hotels, shops and villages.  No one knew the name of the town, not even a waiter at one of the restaurants there. It sounds something like Yamaguchi.

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IMG_2530 Our hotel.

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Resident toucan.

From there we boarded the Gilmer, our cargo ship that took on a five day trip up one of the Amazon tributaries and into the Peruvian jungle…

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